Insightsthe blog of Porter Hills
The Flu, One Nasty Bug!
Even though the temperatures are hot and the sun is shining bright, it’s hard to believe winter is right around the corner and with that comes the dreaded flu! At Porter Hills we are gearing up for our flu shot clinics. Getting your flu shot early is the best defense against the flu.
Influenza or the flu is a contagious respiratory disease caused by flu viruses which can cause moderate to severe illness. Some people infected with influenza may develop complications which can lead to death. The flu is different from the common cold in that it comes on suddenly. It can last anywhere from a few days to 2 weeks.
Symptoms of the flu
- body aches
- fatigue or tiredness
- sore throat
- a runny or stuffy nose.
If you have the flu, the virus can be spread to other people up to 6 feet away. Most experts believe flu viruses are spread by droplets when a person speaks, coughs or sneezes. You are contagious one day before you show symptoms and up to 7 days after your symptoms appear.
Flu season is in the winter with peak flu activity during January and February but outbreaks have occurred as early as October. The single most effective way protect yourself from getting the flu is to get an annual flu shot. After receiving the flu shot your body begins to develop antibodies to the flu viruses that are in the vaccine. It takes about 2 weeks for it to be fully effective. The most common side effect of the flu shot is redness, soreness and swelling at the injection site. Infrequently, you may experience body aches or a low grade fever. You cannot get the flu from the flu shot because the viruses in the shot are inactivated and can’t cause illness.
People who are at high risk of developing serious complications such as pneumonia if they get sick, people with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and chronic lung disease, pregnant women, children younger than 5, people older than 65, people who live with or are caregivers for people with certain medical conditions, caregivers of infants and health care personnel should all get annual flu shots.
If you become infected with a flu virus you should stay away from other people until you have been fever free for one full day, drink plenty of fluids and get rest. Over the counter remedies can help with some of the symptoms and anti-viral drugs are available by prescription from your doctor within the first 48 hours.
Flu shots are available from your doctor, clinics, health departments, many pharmacies and also health fairs. The earlier you get your flu shot the better protected you and your loved ones will be.
For more information on Seasonal Influenza visit: cdc.gov/flu
This post has been made available courtesy of Porter Hills Home Care .